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Alexander the Great


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This PowerPoint is a brief introduction to Alexander the Great, his conquests, and his legacy: the spread of Hellenistic culture

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Alexander the Great

  1. Alexander the Great: A Presentation by Tom Richey (
  2. TERMS LIST: Philip II, Demosthenes, Orator,Philippic, Alexander the Great, Gordian Knot,Battle of Gaugamela, Hellenism, SeleucidEmpire, Ptolemaic Empire
  3. Macedonia was a second-rate power beforeAthens and Sparta weakened each other in thePeloponnesian War.
  4. PHILIP II, king of Macedon and father ofAlexander the Great, conquered the Greek citystates.
  5. The Macedonian Empire at the Death of PhilipII. Note that Sparta remained unconquered byPhilip.
  6. Laconic: Concise or terse speech, named forthe Spartan homeland, Laconia. The Spartansattempted to communicate ideas in as fewwords as possible (this was all part of theSpartan ideal of simplicity).
  7. Philip sent a messenger to Sparta with awarning.
  8. A Laconic Reply
  9. Demosthenes was an Athenian orator who delivered a series of philippics – passionate orationsagainst Philip II aimed at encouraging the Athenians to resist. Athenian resistance ultimatelyfailed, but Demosthenes is still remembered as a great orator and the term, philippic, is still usedto describe an angry speech directed at an individual in power.
  10. In order to unite the people of the Greek city-states he had conquered, Philip planned to goto war with the Persian Empire.
  11. But Philip was assassinated before he couldexecute his plan.
  12. Philip’s plan would be carried out by his son,Alexander.
  13. Alexander the Great was King of Macedonfrom 336-323 B.C. Although he conquered theknown world, he was also an adventurer and acultural ambassador who would spread Greekculture across the East.
  14. A map of Alexander the Great’s conquests.
  15. The Battle of Granicus: Note alexander’sleadership from the front commanding hisCompanion Cavalry.
  16. Alexander personally commanded hisCompanion Cavalry, placing himself in the thickof every battle. Alexander trained his horse,Bucephalus (Ox Head), after others had givenup on him as unbreakable.
  17. The Companions charged in a wedge formationin order to maximize power.
  18. In 333 B.C., Alexander and his army wintered inGordium, a city in Asia Minor. In Gordium,there was a knot that no one could untie. Ithad been prophesied that whoever could untiethe knot would be the ruler of Asia. Aftertrying unsuccessfully to untie the knot,Alexander drew his sword and cut it in half.Sometimes, the term, “Gordian knot,” is usedto describe a seemingly complex problem thathas a simple solution one someone thinksoutside the box.
  19. The Battle of Issus: Alexander was heavilyoutnumbered, but used the terrain to hisadvantage. He fought the Persian king, Darius,on a narrow battlefield that played to hisstrengths (think Thermopylae).
  20. Alexander’s companions smashed through thePersian line, creating a gap at a critical point.This was Alexander’s second decisive victoryover the Persians.